1775 Jefferys - An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence...

1775 Jefferys - An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence...

Important 1775 map of French trading routes - the first definitive British map of the St. Lawrence River


An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence, from Fort Frontenac to the Island of Anticosti shewing the Soundings, Rocks, Shoals &c with Views of the Lands and all necessary Instructions for navigating that River to Quebec...1775

Map maker:

Thomas Jefferys

Place and Year:

London, 1775


96.5 x 63.5 cm (38 x 25 in)


Copperplate engraving


Original outline color

Condition Rating:


Add To Cart


An important map from Jefferys' The American Atlas, the most important 18th century atlas for America. 

The St. Lawrence was a highway for the French along which flowed an increasing volume of trade, and accurate charts were an essential. In 1702, Jean Deshayes carried out an exhaustive survey and the resulting map became the standard until it was superseded by the British Royal Naval surveys of the later 18th century, by James Cook and others.

For the present work Jefferys translated the notes on Deshayes' chart into English, and updated the mapping of the area between Lake Ontario to Quebec (for this he used J.B.B. D'Anville's 1755 map of Canada). The result is clearly a sailing chart, with a variety of aids to navigation, including: depth soundings, rhumb lines, notes, and coastal profiles. 

The main part of the map depicts the river from Anticosti Island to Quebec, and it is flanked, above and below, by a number of insets (one based on D'Anville's map, and four others depicting important stretches of the river with greater detail). 

The present reissue appeared in Jefferys' The American Atlas, the publication of which was prompted by the growing tensions between the British government and its colonies. The importance of the St. Lawrence River was well-understood as the main conduit for trade to and from the prosperous Canadian settlements, and a map of the river would have been expected and appreciated in an atlas that claimed to include maps and charts of the areas where conflict with the colonists was likely. 

Jefferys was the leading English cartographer of the 18th century. From about 1750, he published a series of maps of the English American colonies, that were among the most significant produced in the period. As Geographer to the Prince of Wales, and after 1761, Geographer to the King, Jefferys was well-placed to have access to the best surveys conducted in America, and many of his maps held the status of "official work." Jefferys died on 20th November 1771, and in 1775, his successors, Robert Sayer and John Bennett, gathered these separately-issued maps together and republished them in book form as The American Atlas.

Inset maps inlcude:

The Seven Islands
A Continuation of the River from Quebec to Lake Ontario taken from the Original Published at Paris by Mr. D'Anville in 1755
St. Nicholas or English Harbor
A View of the Lands from Cape Torment to the Butt
The Traverse or Passage from Cape Torment into the South Channel of Orleans Island
The Road of Tadousac


Worn around the edges, with various chips in the margins.




Kershaw, Early Printed Maps of Canada II, 669; Phillips, A List of Maps of America, p. 653; Sellers & Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 233 (4th state); Stevens & Tree, "Comparative Cartography" 76d, in Tooley, The Mapping of America.


There are no related items to show